17. 2. 2007 - Czech Airline’s Newest Aircraft – an Airbus A320 – to Set Out on Its First Flight to Moscow
Prague, 17 February 2007
On Sunday morning, Czech Airline’s (ČSA) newest aircraft – an Airbus A320 – will set out on its first flight, from Prague to Moscow. The regular flight OK 894 departs from Prague tomorrow at 11:45 CET, for Moscow’s Sheremetyevo. ČSA technicians took delivery of the aircraft, bearing the matriculation OK-MEH, from the manufacturer in Toulouse, France, this week. The aircraft landed in Prague on Thursday night. It will fly primarily on medium-haul routes, such as our regular routes to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
Between February and the end of April this year, ČSA will obtain three new A320s from Airbus, and also, for the first time, two A319s. These will be five of the twelve aircraft arising from the tender for medium-haul aircraft held in October 2004. ČSA obtained the first three A320s last year, and another four from the tender will be supplied by Airbus in 2008.
The new machines will replace Boeings 737s in the airline’s fleet, which the Company will return to the lessor once its operative leasing contracts expire. Hence, in April and May, the Airline will return four smaller Boeing 737-500 aircraft, for 108 passengers, and one B737-400, for 162 passengers. Their places in the fleet will be taken by the three new Airbus A320s, for 162 passengers, and the two smaller A319s, for 135 passengers. For the summer season, ČSA’s seat capacity on medium-haul flights will thus increase by nearly 200 seats.
The new A320/319 aircraft will be powered by engines made by the CFM International S.A. consortium. For all of the aircraft, ČSA chose an arrangement of two classes - Business and Travel. Also available will be modern on-board communication technologies, including real-time flight information, and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system using LCD screens located above the passenger’s heads. The new generation aircraft offer passengers more comfortable travel, due to roomier and wider cabins and larger overhead luggage storage space.
The aircraft have a 1200 km longer flight-range than the present ČSA medium-haul fleet, and their travel speed is higher by about five per cent than that of the Boeing 737 of the classic generation. Running the Airbus A320/319s is very economical, due to their lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, and better performance on short runways.